Are edX MicroMasters® Programs for Data Science Right for You?

edX MicroMasters for Data Science

edX is an online learning platform that has offered training to over 80 million learners from all over the world. This non-profit learning platform was founded by MIT and Harvard to bring two things to higher education that are currently lacking in traditional academia: accessibility and affordability. Today, edX works in partnership with some of the world’s top universities, non-profit organizations, corporations, and NGOs to offer quality online education to professionals.

Besides the individual courses on topics that range from Introduction to Python Programming to learning how to learn efficiently, this online learning platform also offers professional certifications, MicroBachelors as well as MicroMasters Programs. The platform’s masters programs confer degrees that are similar to on-campus programs, and the MicroMasters can be applied later to full master’s degree programs online or on-campus to get learners into a time and cost-effective accelerated learning. These MicroMasters programs account for 25 percent to 50 percent of full master’s programs.

So what are MicroMasters?

These are a series of graduate level courses that learners take to earn credentials in specific career fields. These programs serve to bridge the gap between education and the workplace and are created by reputable edX university partners, and are highly regarded by top corporations like GE and Walmart.

MicroMasters credentials are also valuable addition to academic portfolios since they offer a pathway to credit. edX MicroMasters programs do not have any admission requirements and are open to anyone. Once you have successfully completed your MicroMasters course online, you can apply to a full Masters degree that recognizes your MicroMasters credential when you can apply your MicroMasters credit toward a portion of your degree to result in an accelerated program.

Are edX MicroMasters programs with it?

MicroMasters have multiple benefits to learners and employers alike. Here are five specific reasons why MicroMasters are good for you.

  • Career-focused: MicroMasters are validated by top organizations
  • Backed by credit – MicroMasters credentials account for 20-50 percent of a Master’s degree (20-30 ECTS in Europe.
  • Speed – each MicroMasters program is designed to take 8 to 14 months to complex
  • Affordable – MicroMasters programs cost $800 to $1500
  • Flexible – MicroMasters programs are offered online and are open for enrollment multiple times in a year. And since these courses are offered online, you are at liberty to set a learning schedule that fits into your work and family commitments.

edX MicroMasters programs are tailored to meet the needs of major corporations like Walmart and GE. As such, employers are always confident that successful graduates have the training needed to meet their organization’s requirements. Adding a MicroMasters to your resume or LinkedIn profile is an indication that you have gained exposure to a particular field at a strategic level, giving you the knowledge you need to advance your career.

Some organizations, rather than looking for candidates with the desired skills prefer taking the initiative to provide specialized training for their existing workforce. In such instances, organizations benefit from new flexible opportunities to connect their existing workforce to top graduate programs that prepare their employees for in-demand jobs as well as access to a pool of talented individuals ready to make a positive impact in their organizations.

So how long does it take to complete a MicroMasters program?

The duration of each MicroMasters program depends on the specific course. Some MicroMasters take a couple of months to complete while others can take as long as one year to complete. That said, most programs require learners to commit 4-8 hours per week to studies. Most important, MicroMasters programs are flexible, allowing you to learn at your preferred pace.

Are MicroMasters from edX right for you?

Simply, MicroMasters is right for anyone. That said, these are programs are especially suited for learners who already have a bachelor’s or associate degree. It is also suitable for individuals who are looking for a career-focused certificate in order to start a new career or move up in their current one.

Best edX MicroMasters Programs for Data Science

This is an advanced (graduate-level) MicroMasters program in Artificial Intelligence is an instructor-led course that introduces learners to AI applications of machine learning, natural language processing, reinforcement learning, regression, boosting, classification, as well as unsupervised learning. You will also learn State-Space Models and Hidden Markov Models, robotics movements and kinematics, principle component analysis, robotics motion planning, as well as other aspects of computer-generated imagery programming and creation.

Courses covered

This MicroMasters in AI covers the following courses:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) ( a 12-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week)
  • Machine Learning ( a 12-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week)
  • Robotics ( a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week)
  • Animation and CGI Motion ( a 12-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week.

edX MicroMasters in AI course prerequisites

  • Proficiency in C/C++
  • Proficiency in Python programming
  • Introductory classical mechanics
  • Calculus incl. partial derivatives and linear algebra
  • Probability and statistical concepts

edX MicroMaster in AI Assessment and certification

A score of 60% or higher is required from the quizzes, homework, programming projects, and the final proctored exam per course to pass.

How much does an online MicroMasters in AI from edX cost?

USD 896.40 for the full program

Tools and programming languages required for successful completion of this online MicroMasters in AI

C/ C++ and Python

edX MicroMasters in AI pros and cons

Pros

This is one of the very few graduate-level online MicroMasters programs that give learners a more in-depth introduction to robotics and computer-generated imagery.

Con

Even though this MicroMasters recommends that learners set aside at least 8-10 hours per week for studies, this only applies to learners who fulfill the prerequisites on a proficient level. All other learners may be required to invest in more time to complete the MicroMasters successfully.

edX MicroMasters in AI Course Credits

This edX’s MicroMasters in AI counts for 25 percent or 7.5 credits towards a 30-credit online Masters in Computer Science program from Columbia University.

Is this online MicroMasters in AI from edX for you?

This MicroMasters in AI from Columbia University is ideal for individuals who are proficient in Python and C/C++ programming languages as well as those with advanced knowledge in data science who are looking to deepen their AI skills on a graduate level.

This advanced data science MicroMasters is offered by The Georgia Institute of Technology. In this online MicroMasters, you will learn data classification, regression, preparation, clustering, prediction, time series models, optimization and model validation, preparing relational data, unstructured data, data cleaning and visualization, numerical computing, measuring risks and returns, customer analytics, marketing analytics, statistical process control, forecasting, and demand.

Courses Covered

The edX online MicroMasters in Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods is instructor-led and covers the following courses:

  • Introduction to Analytics Modeling (a 16-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Computing for Data Analytics (a 15-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Data Analytics for Business (a 16-week program that requires 10-12 hours per week of learning)

MicroMasters in Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods course prerequisites

  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and statistics
  • Basic Calculus
  • Proficiency in basic programming

MicroMasters in Analytics course assessment and certification

Learners are required to score 60% or higher from weekly homework/notebook, a project, and proctored exams to pass.

Required tools and programming languages:

Python, SQL, R/RStudio, Simply, Numpy, Pandas, Scipy, Pulp Optimization software, Arena simulation software.

So how much does this edX MicroMasters in Analytics cost:  

USD 1,500 for the full program.

edX MicroMasters in Analytics pros and cons

Pros

It offers a great introduction to the most important tools and methods such as the link to business data analytics problems

The con

This MicroMasters focuses on classical optimization with specialized tools rather than advances in deep learning and machine learning.

edX MicroMasters in Analytics Course Credits

This MicroMasters in Analytics counts for 25 percent or 9 hours toward a 36-hour Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics) degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Who is edX MicroMasters in Analytics for?

This edX MicroMasters in Analytics is perfect for learners who are looking for a sound introduction to data analytics with the goal of applying acquired skills in business and finance.

This advanced self-paced MicroMasters in Data Science introduces learners to the necessary process of data science, processing uncurated datasets, Python and Jupyter notebooks, basic machine learning methods, fundamental statistical analysis and visualization. You will also learn an overview of sets, combinatorics, counting principles, conditional and discrete probabilities, and Baye’s Rule, expectation, random variables, variance and correlation, continuous distribution, joint distribution families, concentration, probabilistic inequalities, and limit theorems. Additional topics include sampling, linear and logistic regression, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals, decision trees as well as an introduction to neural networks, deep learning, and TensorFlow.

Courses Covered

This online MicroMasters in data science program covers the following courses:

  • Python for Data Science ( a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Probability and Statistics in Data Science using Python ( a 10-week course that requires 10-12 hours per week of learning)
  • Machine Learning Fundamentals ( a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Big Data Analytics using Spark ( a 10-week course that requires 9-12 hours per week of learning).

edX MicroMasters in Data Science course prerequisites.

  • Linear algebra
  • Logic and set theory
  • Undergraduate level programming experience
  • Multivariate calculus

Assessment and certification

Learners are required to score 70 percent from quizzes, projects, and final exams to pass. Additionally, learners are required to score 65 percent or higher in the second, third, and fourth courses.

Required tools and programming languages

Jupyter notebooks, Python, pandas, Matplotlib, NumPy, git, NLTK, scikit-learn, Spark, and PySpark.

MicroMasters in Data Science from edX pros and cons

Pro

This online MicroMasters in Data Science course is an excellent introduction for all data science beginners covering multiple topics as well as a concrete introduction to statistical concepts.

Con

While this MicroMasters covers a wide range of topics, it does not offer in-depth knowledge in data science. Learners have to go out of their way to master the technical deepness of data science.

edX MicroMasters in Data Science course credits

This online MicroMasters in data science counts for 30 percent of the full Master of Science degree in Data Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. It also counts for 25 percent or 100 credits of the 400 credits towards the Master of Predictive Analytics at Curtin University. Successful completion of this MicroMasters will earn you a favorable review if you choose to apply for an Online Master’s Degree program in Data Science from UT Austin via edX.

How much does this edX MicroMasters in Data Science from edX cost?

USD 1,436.40

Is this online MicroMasters in Data Science from edX right for you?

This MicroMasters in Data Science from edX is designed to help beginners in data science get an overview from statistical concepts to the commonly used models. It is a great introduction to those who want to venture into deep learning and big data.

This is an advanced self-paced online MicroMasters in Big Data from the University of Adelaide. You will be introduced to algorithm design, fundamental programming concepts, data transformation, manipulation, dimension reduction, hashing, directed and undirected graphs, big data fundamentals, hashing, stream processing, Google’s web search, MapReduce, AdWords system, deep learning, regression and classification, and algorithms.

Courses Covered

This online MicroMasters in Big Data covers the following five courses:

  • Programming for Data Science (a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week.
  • Computational Thinking and Big Data (a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week.)
  • Big Data Fundamentals (a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week)
  • Big Data Analytics (a 10-week course that requires 8-10 hours of learning per week)
  • Big Data Capstone Project ( a 6-week course that requires 4-5 hours per week to complete)

MicroMasters in Big Data Course prerequisites:

 NONE

MicroMasters in Big Data from edX course assessment and certification

You will be required to score 60 percent or higher on all quizzes, assignments, and worked problems to pass.

Tools and programming languages

Java/Eclipse, Processing.js, R/RStudio, sparklyr, Apache Spark, and H2o.

EdX MicroMasters in Big Data pros and cons

Pros

This MicroMasters programs gives learners a broad and comprehensive introduction to Big Data thinking and design, various programming tools, and languages, and integrates real-world scenarios from web search and web advertising.

Cons

This course is not ideal for data science beginners.

How much does this edX MicroMasters in Big Data cost?

USD 1,436.40 for the full program.

edX MicroMasters in Big Data course credits

This online MicroMasters in Big Data program counts for 25 percent of the Master of Data Science program that requires 48 units of coursework to complete.

Is this MicroMasters in Big Data from edX right for you?

This MicroMasters in Big Data from the University of Adelaide is recommended for learners who already have a deep understanding of data science and are conversant with at least one programming language on an intermediate level and are looking to launch into Big Data.

This advanced (graduate-level) instructor-led edX MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python introduces learners to the basics of the predictive modeling life cycle, data preparation, introduction to Python, data training, quality, under- and oversampling, validation, linear and logistic integration, confidence intervals estimators, random forest, decision trees, overfitting, neural networks, and pruning.

Courses covered

This online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python comes with the following five courses:

  • Introduction to Predictive Analytics using Python ( a 6-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning.)
  • Successfully Evaluating Predictive Modeling ( a six-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Statistical Predictive Modeling and Applications ( a six-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning)
  • Predictive Analytics using Machine Learning ( a six-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning.)
  • Predictive Analytics Final Project ( a six-week course that requires 8-10 hours per week of learning).

Online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python course prerequisites

  • An undergraduate-level qualification in mathematics and statistics
  • Experience in programming languages like C/C++, Python, or Java.

Online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python assessment and certification

Learners are required to score 50 percent or higher based on multiple-choice coding assessments to pass. Additionally, learners are required to complete a final project that consists of a proctored exam, a Jupyter notebook submission that is a reflection of a real-life case study, as well as a 1,700-word reflective submission based on the Jupyter notebook submission.

Tools and programming languages required to complete this MicroMasters successfully:

  • Python
  • Pandas, NumPy
  • Scikit-learn

So how much does this online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python cost?

  • USD 1,350 for complete program

Online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python pros and cons

Pro

This course offers a very comprehensive introduction to modeling, sampling, model validation, and model comparison with a strong emphasis on programming and data examples.

Con

The required pass mark seems to be quite low. That said, beginners might require a lot of effort to complete this course since it comes with a strong emphasis on practical programming and applications

Online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python course credits

This MicroMasters account for 30 of the 180 credits when pursuing a corresponding Master’s degree from the University of Edinburg.

Is online MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python right for you?

This MicroMasters in Predictive Analytics using Python is ideal for learners who are looking to have in-depth knowledge of predictive analytics and acquire strong programming skills than just a broad overview in a range of topics.

This is yet another advanced instructor-led online MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science from MIT. In this course, you will learn about probability models, discrete and continuous distributions, Bayes’ rule, independence, Bayesian inference, random processes, classical statistics, Markov chains, regressions, estimations, A/B testing, data visualization, experimental design, method of moments, confidence interval, maximum likelihood, hypothesis testing, predictive models, goodness of fit, principle component analysis, regulation and generalization, overfitting, clustering, recommender problems, classifications, probabilistic models, reinforcement learning, EM algorithm, neural networks, support vector machines, and deep learning.

Courses covered

This online edX MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science comes with the following five courses:

  • Probability – The Science of Uncertain and Data ( a 16-week course that requires 10-14 learning hours per week)
  • Data Analysis in Social Science – Assessing your Knowledge ( a 4-week course that requires 10-14 learning hours per week). Learners are required to take and pass Data Analysis for Social Scientists course as a prerequisite before taking this course.
  • Fundamentals of Statistics (an 18-week course that requires 10-14 learning hours per week)
  • Machine Learning with Python: from Linear Models to Deep Learning ( a 15-week course that requires 10-14 learning hours per week.)
  • Capstone Exam in Statistics and Data Science ( a 2-week project that requires 10-14 learning hours per week)

edX MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science course prerequisites

  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Single-variable and multivariable calculus
  • Vectors and matrices
  • Familiarity with limits, sequences, infinite series, ordinary and multiple integrals, and the chain rule.
  • Working knowledge of Python programming language on a level covered by the course Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python by MIT on edX.

edX MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science course assessment and certification

Learners are required to score 60 percent or higher based on lecture exercises, homework, problem sets, projects, and final capstone exam to pass this MicroMasters course.

Tools and programming languages required to complete this MicroMasters successfully:

  • Python and R

So how much does this online MicroMasters in Statistics and Data FROM edX Science cost?

USD 1,350 for full program

Online MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science pros and cons

Pro

This is a very comprehensive and rigorous online MicroMasters course that teaches the mathematical and theoretical building blocks of statistics and data science. Additionally, more than 20 universities around the world count the credits towards their master’s programs.

Con

This MicroMasters is very academically focused, with less focus on the tools used in practice as well as the bridge to data science work. And, learners are required to take additional courses not covered by this MicroMasters program.

Online MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science course credits

Many universities around the world allow learners to transfer this program’s credits when pursuing their graduate courses.

Is this online edX MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science right for you?

edX MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science is ideal for learners who are looking to build up their mathematical and theoretical skills before pursuing a full master’s degree

edX MacroMasters for Data Science programs: Final thoughts

edX offers a wide range of MicroMasters programs for learners with different experience levels. Whether you are a data science beginner looking to gain a technical introduction to the subject or an experienced veteran looking to update your skills, edX has the right MicroMaster for you. Sign up with one of the edX MicroMasters described above and kick-start or take your data science career to the next level.

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